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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Cattle grazing conference to include live handling demo

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  • LINCOLN — Many will remember the 1998 movie, "The Horse Whisperer," starring Robert Redford.
    One of the consultants on that movie was Curt Pate from Texas. Pate will show why his expertise was sought by the movie producers when he demonstrates low-stress animal handling techniques at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds on the second day of the 14th annual Nebraska Grazing Conference. Pate's appearance on the program is sponsored in part by the Beef Checkoff.
    The two-day conference will begin at the Kearney Ramada, a change in location from past years' gatherings, on Tuesday, Aug. 12.
    Topics that day will include: water capture, transfer and storage; soil health and grazing; mob grazing; wildlife and grazing; managing during and after drought; and GrassSnap, a new mobile app for monitoring grasslands.
    Pate will start things off the second day, Aug. 13, with a talk on stockmanship and stewardship fundamentals, followed by three producers who use low-stress cattle handling techniques.
    Additional morning speakers will address management practices of the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award winner and research on switchgrass for forage and biomass.
    After lunch the conference will move to the fairgrounds for Pate's live cattle handling and roping demonstration.
    In addition to Pate, conference presenters include faculty in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, government agencies and farmers and ranchers who discuss their experiences with various grazing methods.
    Full registration is $80 if postmarked by Aug. 1 and $95 afterward.
    The fee includes the conference proceedings, lunch both days, evening banquet, pre-banquet social, break refreshments, and the demo at the fairgrounds.
    One-day registration rate is $45 before Aug. 1 and $55 after, and does not include the evening banquet.
    Morning walk-in registrations at the hotel are welcome and may be for either or both days.
    Those interested only in the Pate presentations must complete and pay for a Wednesday-only registration either in advance or on the morning of Aug. 13 at the conference registration desk in the Kearney Ramada.
    Reduced registration fees are offered for full-time high school or college students. Registration fees will be paid by the UNL College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources for students who will still be in high school this fall and who pre-register by the Aug. 1 deadline.
    More information is available at http://nebraskagrazingconference.unl.edu, or from the UNL Center for Grassland Studies at (402) 472-4101 or your local UNL extension office.
    The event is sponsored by several public and private organizations, including the conference underwriters: Farm Credit Services of America, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition, Merial, and the UNL Center for Grassland Studies.
    Dan Moser is editor of  IANR News Service and can be reached at 402-472-3030 or via e-mail at dmoser3@unl.edu.
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